Thursday, February 23, 2012

Smith County, TX: ETX man accused in wife's murder temporarily free

SMITH COUNTY (KYTX) -- The Whitehouse man accused of beating his wife to death last Thanksgiving will get to leave the Smith County jail. A little-known law is giving him temporary freedom.

It's been 90 days since Kelly Gage was arrested and charged with beating his wife Patti to death. Two days after his arrest she died in the hospital, but after all this time in jail, Gage still hasn't been indicted.

"I feel for this family because they have lost someone they love very deeply and they're wanting someone to be held accountable for it," Smith County District Attorney Matt Bingham said.

Bingham has been trying to build a case against Gage, but the official report from her autopsy in Dallas makes it tough. It says she died from blunt trauma to the head, but how that trauma happened remains "undetermined."

"We're not going to take this case down to a grand jury and present the case to a grand jury when our own experts, specifically the pathologists, say that this could just as likely have been an accidental fall as an intentional act," Bingham said.

To top it off, Bingham a special blood spatter expert brought in to shed light on what happened. He was just as confused.

"The blood that he observed on the defendant's clothing is just as consistent with expiratory spatter as it would be impact spatter," Bingham said, meaning it could be the result of an accident.

With no indictment, the law requires Smith County to let Gage go with the understanding that he may be called back at any time.

Patti's brother told CBS 19 he's scared for Gage to get out based on what he called a history of violence between Gage and other family members. He's hoping for quick developments in this case.

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